The Dragonfly Secret is a heartwarming story of love and remembrance. It provides a degree of reassurance to children that loved ones exist in some form after they've passed. It is also an altruistic tale of friendship. The dialogue is carefully scripted and flows at a nice, even pace.
The message is deepened by Gibson's exquisite watercolor illustrations. Her nature scenes are colorful, vivid, and detailed with a soft quality that complements the sensitive storyline perfectly. The reader will want to step right into that peaceful garden. Though Lea communicates with humans, her image is realistic and not a caricature of an insect.
Whether used as a coping aid or read for pleasure, The Dragonfly Secret is a wonderful tool for parents and teachers to have on hand. It approaches a delicate topic with sensitivity and care, guiding children through difficult times. The authors have a talent for storytelling and can relate well to a child's perspective. The Dragonfly Secret would make a wonderful gift for a child facing loss in any form.
Children's Literature - Charles E. Kreinbucher
In a seemingly mystical garden, complete with the most beautiful plants and the bright warm sun, a butterfly and dragonfly are playing. Suddenly, a young boy appears and befriends Lea, the dragonfly. They spent this day, and the following one, playing ball and hide and seek. The dragonfly realizes that he has not asked the boy his name. The boy promises to tell his name and a secret if the dragonfly delivers a message and completes three small deeds. The first task is to find a ball cap in the garden and land on it. Upon doing so, Lea meets an old couple, who then tell him to come tomorrow and find a bear and land on it. Lea is confused, but is told again that the secret message can only be delivered by a special dragonfly. The next day, Lea finds a man and woman sitting on a bench, and beside them are a cap and a brown bear. Appearing in the background are the old man and woman, and the boy. Lea is encouraged and lands on the hat. She notices that the people on the bench are crying in joy. The secret is revealed that the boy and older folks have passed and gone to the peaceful garden. The dragonfly has the secret power to communicate between the two worlds. This is a companion story to "The Dragonfly Door", and is truly a story of selfless love and encouragement. It is a complex story, and a difficult read for young children, yet the concepts of death and loss are gently introduced. The authors offer a cautionary note for parents to conduct a pre-read for suitability. Reviewer: Charles E. Kreinbucher
Read an Excerpt
Lea explored other parts of the garden. She looked under a picnic table and peeked inside the gardener's tool shed. Suddenly, Lea felt a strange stillness. The birds and insects were quiet. Someone nearby was crying. Lea flew cautiously toward the sound. A woman sat on a wooden bench in the corner of the garden. Lea could see her face wet with tears. The light around the woman seemed dim. For a moment, Lea's wings felt very heavy. She, too, felt sad. This must be what the woman feels, she thought. The woman continued to cry. Uncertain of what to do, Lea made her way to the branch of a nearby tree. She looked at the woman. Something caught her attention. Beside the woman on the bench was ...